gmhTODAY 24 gmhTODAY Feb March 2019 - Page 68

Poppy Jasper International Film Festival Returns Films Make South County a Cultural Arts Destination Written By Robin Shepherd Mattie Scariot, Festival Director As spring draws near, a growing community of independent fi lmmakers and fi lmgoers are anticipating the return of the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival. The popular regional event will take place April 3rd through 7th, 2019, shining a festive spotlight on downtown Morgan Hill and Gilroy. According to Festival Director Mattie Scariot, “This year’s festival is all about building upon our success in 2018, which hosted more than 3,000 visitors, including hundreds of film- makers, and screened 90 films from 28 different countries.” The 2019 program will feature high-quality short and feature films, guest appearances by film industry luminaries, networking mixers, and live entertainment, with gala and awards celebrations book-ending the event. “I want us to always be known as a fi lm festival that engages, educates and embraces the cultural impact of fi lm,” Scariot said. 5 DAYS OF GREAT FILMS PJIFF’s panel of jurors followed a careful process to review submitted fi lms and select fi nalists for screening and recognition at the festival. PJIFF Film Chair, Lesley Miles, explained the process. “Hundreds of submissions came in from filmmakers of all ages, featuring a variety of genres, and ranging from one minute to two hours long,” Miles said. “We reviewed the films individually, then as a group, using criteria focused on quality of screenwriting, acting, cinematography, and production.” Miles sees PJIFF as a welcoming and intimate setting for artists and audiences to connect: “Festival goers like to meet fi lmmakers and hear why or how they make fi lms, and fi lmmakers are always hungry to hear viewers’ reactions to their fi lms.” 68 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN 3 PANELS OF FILM INDUSTRY EXPERTS Women in Film Panel Moderated by Morgan Hill resident, Kulvinder Arora, this panel will explore the image of women in important roles behind the camera and how to bridge the industry’s traditional gender gap. Film Industry Panel Moderator Chike Nwoffi ah and guest panelists will share stories from their fi lm career journeys; along with their perspectives on Hollywood and independent fi lmmaking today, technically and artistically. Film Distribution Panel Led by Moderator Rebekah Renne, panelists will discuss how new strategies and methods of fi lm distribution are changing the industry, the rise of short fi lms and their distribution, and the impact of a global fi lm market on distribution. 4 FILMMAKER PROGRAMS In the run-up to the fi lm festival, hands-on fi lmmaker work- shops are being produced with support from Community Media Access Partnership, the Morgan Hill and Gilroy libraries, and the YMCA. All completed fi lms produced by workshop participants will be shown during the fi lm festival. According to Katie Khera, a member of the Morgan Hill Library, Culture & Arts Commission, “I think the entire community stands to benefit from the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival. They’re offering a series of three guided workshop programs, for youth, adults, and seniors who want to try their hand at making a short film.” Khera also serves as a PJIFF board member. february/march 2019 gmhtoday.com